DOWN — the acclaimed New Orleans band featuring CORROSION OF CONFORMITY guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan, drummer Jimmy Bower (EYEHATEGOD, SUPERJOINT RITUAL guitarist), bassist Rex Brown (ex-PANTERA), guitarist Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR), and vocalist Philip Anselmo (SUPERJOINT RITUAL, ex-PANTERA) — has been selected as the support act for HEAVEN AND HELL on their upcoming tour of Australia/New Zealand. The dates are as follows:
Aug. 02 - Challenge Arena – Perth, AUS
Aug. 05 - Thebarton Theatre - Adelaide, AUS
Aug. 07 - WIN Entertainment Centre - Wollongong, AUS
Aug. 08 - Entertainment Centre - Newcastle, AUS
Aug. 10 - Rod Laver Arena - Melbourne, AUS
Aug. 11 - Entertainment Centre - Sydney, AUS
Aug. 14 - Entertainment Centre - Brisbane, AUS
Aug. 16 - Logan Campbell Centre – Auckland, NZ
***NOTE: DOWN's participation in the HEAVEN AND HELL Australian tour has **NOT** yet been officially confirmed by either band.
DOWN recently inked a new North American record deal with the Independent Label Group (ILG), which is composed of Warner Music Group Corp.'s Asylum Records, East West Records and Cordless Recordings. The band entered a Los Angeles studio in February to begin recording its third full-length album, tentatively titled "Down III". Producer Warren Riker (CROWBAR, SUBLIME) is helming the effort, for which the band had reportedly composed more than 18 tracks.
Guitarist Pepper Keenan told MTV.com back in January that Hurricane Katrina's devastating aftermath has helped inspire a many of the tracks on the new LP, the band's first since 2002's "Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow".
"It's been a rough couple of years for everyone in this band," Keenan said. "We've been through a lot. We're trying to use all of that but really keep a positive energy and write some killer, heavy shit for people. I feel like the story of New Orleans ain't been told, and I wouldn't mind telling it from our point of view. Not that I want to use the band as a political platform, but we do have a certain voice and I think that the people we'll be talking to [with this record] are people who will understand."
"Phil's really good at [lyrics]," Keenan added. "Several songs address Katrina's aftermath and how life changes on you, man. We've got a lot of ammunition for this one, I'll put it that way — a lot of things have not necessarily gone right for everybody these last couple of years. Everybody's just trying to stay positive. We're not writing Christian songs. These are still angry, frustrated songs. . . [Phil's] got a lot of demons he needs to get off his chest. This is gonna be a hard record for us to make because there's just a lot of emotional things going on. I think we'll all be better after we get this thing done. But Phil's got one beautiful song about Dime that really surprised me. When I heard it, I was pretty watery-eyed. Those [PANTERA days] were beautiful days for him. The whole song is pretty intense, and it's actually a heavy song. That's the wild thing about it — it's not a ballad or anything."
DOWN performed a brand new song, entitled "I Scream", during their headlining appearance at the Roseland in New York City on Saturday, March 31. Watch a video clip of the performance at YouTube.com.
DOWN recently completed a Canadian tour as the support act for HEAVEN AND HELL and MEGADETH.